Hello all. I'm up a little earlier today, trying to get some work in before checking out a day's worth of flicks downtown. Here's what I've got for you this week.
The Deep Blu-ray Sea.
On the heels of my last archives post, it seems fitting to mention that Jaws is coming to Blu-ray on August 14th, and boy is it ever a beaut. Not only is it loaded with extras, including the long-awaiting documentary The Shark Is Still Working, but the film itself has been painstakingly restored. Take a look at this promo showcasing all the work that Universal put into bringing this movie to Blu-ray.
It is also good to know that Spielberg learned from his mistakes re-releasing E.T, and did not fuck with the original movie. If only his buddy George could have that same epiphany. Click here for the rundown of the full Blu-ray package over at Collider.com
Herbert Haunts The Small Screen.
I was elated to hear that BBC1 is adapting James Herbert's book The Secret of Crickley Hall for broadcast this Halloween. I've always said that Herbert is one of horror's most unmined resources, having only had fourofhisbooks - out of twenty odd - adapted over the years. Crickley Hall tells the story of a broken family who moves into a new home, only to soon realize that it is haunted. The film will star Suranne Jones (of Coronation Street fame), Tom Ellis and Douglas Henshall. This book is one that has been sitting on my shelf unread for years, so this is the perfect motivation for me to blow the dust off it.
Hopefully, this will be the project that opens the floodgates for Herbert adaptations. Creed anyone?
After Dark Returns.
This week it was announced that the Toronto After Dark Film Festival will return to its original home at the Bloor Cinema. Not only that, but TAD is also running a few spotlight presentations during the summer on June 27th and July 11th to further expand the After Dark festivities. Each night will showcase two genre offerings, shorts and include an after party. The actual festival runs a whopping nine nights from October 18-26th. For more info, go here. You can also follow TAD on Facebook, by clicking here.
I dislike the water. I begrudgingly
learned to swim as a youngster – for the sake of self preservation
– but I generally avoid such activities
at all costs. I'd like to blame it on my fear of sharks, but to be
honest, that phobia is a fairly recent one, as my first childhood
viewing of Jaws was something I would describe as being more “cool”
The Unusual Suspects.
Now though, due to some increased sense of
mortality, more recent films like Open Water and The Reef have the
capacity to traumatize me for days.
I have this
intangible feeling of vulnerability whenever I think about being
in even the smallest body of water. So, where does this come from? Jaws aside, I have to look back
to the stuff I was absorbing as a kid. Well, there was Maria's death scene in The Legacy, which, as I've said before, is my first recollected
horror movie experience. Then, there was that “walk-the-plank” bit in
Alligator. And we can't forget Nancy's bathtub shenanigans in A
Nightmare On Elm Street now, can we? I guess all of this stuff collectively may have hit me on some unconscious level.
Then, there is this strange old board game I
found in the archives called Monsters of the Deep.
I suppose now it seems a little goofy,
but as you can see, it still reinforces the idea that there are all
manner of things with teeth and claws waiting underneath the surface. Yes sir, a land lubber I shall always remain.
Here below is the newest episode of the Laser Blast podcast. This week we watched John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13 and George A. Romero's Martin. And of course, in true LB fashion, tangents abound!
A few weeks ago, a buddy & I watched a sizable string of new Beavis & Butt-head episodes that he had saved up on his DVR. I find it hilarious that this new iteration of the show is exactly the same, yet somehow now possesses an extra layer of lampoon based on how much more empty MTV programming has become since the fourteen years it was last on the air.
Anyway, perhaps the best part of viewing these new episodes was discovering this video for Skrillex's First of the Year. Both the song and video rule, and I wanted to post it here for your enjoyment.
Well, that was a nice little break after all the madness of my 1000th Post and Shock Stock festivities. Here now, are some Sunday brunch goodies.
A Conversation Piece.
This is a few weeks old now, but I couldn't let this custom made coffee table go by without mention.
Badass! Although, taping over Star Wars with Police Academy 4 is rather blasphemous.
Looking at that reminds me of the time my brother discovered that I taped over Blue Thunder with Easy Money. He wasn't impressed. I think the only thing that could make this table better is if you had the option to have your own movies put on it, or at least room on the label to carve some in yourself.
This week I saw a trailer for a new VHS documentary from the guys at VHShitfest called Adjust Your Tracking.
As you would expect, this is certainly something I can get behind, and you can to by visiting their Kickstarter page. This does look similar to the VHS doc that popped online last month called Traces of Analog, as it shares some of the same talking heads, but Tracking seems to have a few directors and heavy hitter Tony Timpone on board, as well. The guys over at VHShitfest are among the top authorities on this subject, so if anyone's going to pull off a definitive doc, it'll be them. I wish them luck and look forward to the finished product.
I came across this friggin' awesome animation piece this week. I know it's a few years old now, but that doesn't make it any less cool.
Last weekend, Schwartz & I took the trip west along the 401 to London, Ontario for the second annual Shock Stock.
Shortly after noon, we walked through the doors of theCentennial Hall, and could immediately tell that attendance was up from last year.
Before doing any real shopping though, it was time for the Kane Hodder Q&A.
That started interestingly enough. We were sitting on an aisle, waiting for it to begin when I felt this vice-grip of a hand briefly grab the back of my neck. It was Kane, who kindly said, “Oh sorry” as he walked by. That was good for a laugh, in a 'did that just happen?' kind of way. Having seen him in person three times now, I have to say this was probably the best Q&A. He talked about his newly released book, Unmasked, which not only covers his career, but also a lot of his personal experiences, as well.
Hodder opened up about the incessant bullying he endured as a child, and how he was able to rise above it. This was a side of his life I was unaware of and his words really rang true, having had to go through that shit myself. Apart from his memoir, he announced that Hatchet III will begin shooting in a few weeks. He had just read the script the night before, and said that Adam Green had somehow managed to make it even more violent than the first two. Hodder also mentioned that, like the first one, it'll be shot in New Orleans, rather than the sequel's L.A. set.
The man behind the mask, Kane Hodder.
He also talked about the weirdest thing he'd ever been sent by a fan, which was a crazy letter accompanied by a vial of semen. Somebody asked him if he ever worried or bothered about being typecast, to which he replied;
“No, I always say, it's better to be type cast, than not cast.”
Next up, was Day of the Dead's Capt. Rhodes himself, Joe Pilato. He was a very warm and flamboyant fellow, not at all like his venom-spitting onscreen personna - that is, until his Rave, but more on that in a bit. Pilato talked about working with George A. Romero on Dawn of the Dead – he almost got the part of Flyboy, but they wanted someone who wasn't the same height as Scott Reiniger – and Knightriders, before finally landing the part as Rhodes.
Joe Pilato (right) with Fangoria's Chris Alexander.
He was initally really upset about some of the scathing reviews when Day came out, especially one particularly pointed tongue-lashing he received courtesy of Siskel & Ebert, but is glad to see that the passage of time has made critics re-evaluate it. Someone obviously asked him about the incident with the fermented guts during his death scene, to which he said;
“I can still smell them to this day.”
Toward the end of the Q&A, he seamlessly became Capt. Rhodes for an impromptu episode of his podcast “Rave From The Cave.” So, somewhere soon on the Web, there will be footage of Schwartz & I being called 'puss fucks.'
When we asked about it, we found out it is a NotLD stage show, set to open next year. It is being directed by Christopher"Evil Dead: The Musical"Bond and executive produced by the man himself, George A. Romero. So, this isn't some fly-by-night operation – like that 3-D shitfest from a few years ago – this is the real deal!
Oh, in addition to the abundance of VHS at the show, one guy actually had an RCA VideoDisc player set up.
Also at the show, was porn star Joanna Angel. Perhaps the funniest exchange of the weekend happened when we were walking by and she beckoned us over. She asked us how we were doing, and Schwartz asked her some standard questions about where she was from and if she'd been to Canada before. Then I asked;
“So, you're performing tonight at the Goblin show, right?”
Joanna:Yes, I am.
Schwartz:Oh, are you a singer?
Joanna:No, I'll be taking my clothes off.
Schwartz:Oh... well that sounds great.
Later, after Schwartz had to bail, I went to the bar to get ready for a special one-off performance by Euro-rockers Goblin.
Mere words cannot express how awesome the show was. There were moments where it seemed like I was having an out-of-body experience. When a female singer came out on stage and began belting out the bars of Phenomenon theme, I actually started to well up a bit. And you know what Claudio & company did for an encore? Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells & John Carpenter's Halloween. Fucking epic. I ran into Luis after, and he was as lost for words as I was. It was an incredible experience, and, as Shock Stock showrunner James Bialkowski aptly proclaimed, “the stuff of legend.”
Oh yes, the strip show. Well, the London powers that be put the kibosh on that little affair, but in the end, it hardly mattered because Goblin blew the doors off the place. I'm sure Ms. Angel appreciated the night off anyway.
Sunday was a little more low-key, as everyone seemed to running at half-speed due to the previous night's festivities. Unfortunately, the vendor I was going to buy a bunch of stuff from didn't show up, so instead I spent a lot of the day speaking to the Canadian indie filmmakers that came out. I talked to numerous young directors like Torin Langen, Zach Ramelan and Brad Mills about their films, some of which were screening that weekend. Mills' The Legend of the Psychotic Forest Ranger was some campy fun, and a nice capper before heading home.
The Grim Brothers James & Jake should be extremely proud of themselves for what they accomplished here. They didn't let the small numbers of their inaugural year deter them, they soldiered on and used their always impressive contacts and passion to come back twice as strong. Shock Stock Part 2 was one of those rare occasions where the sequel was actually better than the original. And you can put that on the cover box!
Five friends travel to a remote cabin, and things turn deadly almost immediately. They soon realize there is more to this cabin in the woods, than meets the eye.
Cabin In The Woods is a tough film to review. I want to tell you about how awesome it is, but at the same time I want you all to go in knowing as little as possible. I think the movie's tagline “you think you know the story” is a perfectly astute summation of the movie at its core. The Evil Dead-like façade of Cabin’s first act is really just the tip of the gravestone.
First and foremost, this is a genre fan’s movie. It stands on the shoulders of the aforementioned Evil Dead and many, many others, but still remains fun, fresh and original. I’ve talked before about how homage walks a fine line, but it always depends on the inherent talent of the people behind the attempt. Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard understood that and made a movie they'd want to see, and in turn, what I would, as well. Like last year’s You’re Next, Cabin takes tried & true genre tropes and makes them their own. I suppose there may be some backlash from fans that don’t appreciate filmmakers messing with convention – and I can relate somewhat – but I’m afraid I can’t be part of their pity party on this one.
I think Whedonites are going to especially eat this shit up, and will be happy to see previous alumni Amy Acker, Tom Lenk and Fran Kranz show up within. There is also a special little cameo toward the end that I won’t spoil here. I think what puts this movie over the top for me is the re-watch factor. It’s really three movies in one. How that’s for getting your money’s worth? In the last third, there is literally so much going on, your brain can’t process it all. It’s really quite ridiculous how much they were able to cram in here. I can already see a Blu-ray freeze frame session in my future. The only real negatives I could come up with were that some of the night scenes were a bit murky, and injury inconsistencies were distracting at times.
The director Drew Goddard was at the screening I attended and had some words to say afterwards. He talked about the long wait for a release – MGM’s money troubles shelved the movie for over a year – and how it actually worked in their favour. Not only did it give the production time to build up some buzz, but also one of the film’s leads, Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, became a star in the interim. Goddard also spoke about the studio not really “getting” the material, but having a heavy-hitter like Whedon in his corner made all the difference.
Don't worry, in context, this will all make sense.
I won't go so far as to say that Cabin In The Woods is a revelatory as such horror comedies like Evil Dead 2, Braindead and Return of the Living Dead, only time will tell. I will say however, that in this jaded, self-aware age of horror, it is pretty damn awesome. There is going to be a subset of horror fans that latch onto this movie with both claws. And with very good reason.
Hello everyone. First, I'd just like to say thanks for all the kind words I received about my 1000th post video. It took a good deal of time to put together, so I'm glad you all enjoyed it. That said, now it's time to move forward with this week's gruesome tidbits.
Dark & Lonely Water.
A link to this vintage UK PSA for water safety popped up in my Facebook last week.
Okay, getting Donald Pleasance for the voice of death was a stroke of genius. I am wary of water at the best of times, but if I'd seen this as a kid, I doubt I ever would've learned to swim at all!
Mondo Does It Again.
As if the initialposters for the upcoming flick Cabin In The Woods weren't cool enough, Mondotees came up with their own interpretation.
Naturally, the number offered up online last Friday sold out in minutes, but apparently there is another batch going onsale on the 11th. Stay tuned to their Twitter feed, for more info. Cabin In The Woods hits theaters this Friday, so look out for my review the day before.
A teaser trailer for the Icelandic horror flick Frost hit Twitch this week.
I know what you're thinking, 'oh great, another found footage movie.' Well yes, there's that. Me? I'm a sucker for Icelandic films in general, let alone genre films of this ilk, so I'll definitely be keeping a lookout for this one.
This combination of buddy flick and supernatural horror has me very intrigued. After reading this article about the grass-roots philosophy of Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead, the two guys behind this film, it's hard to not be a little excited about it. I say good luck to them, and I hope Resolution makes its way up here soon.
Speaking of things on the festival circuit, if you're attending the Chicago FearFest next weekend, be sure to check out Toronto filmmaker Richard Powell's new short Familiar. Here below is a clip.
I could think of no better way to celebrate this milestone than by trotting out one thousand VHS covers. Yes, that’s right… One thousand. It’s probably best you don’t ask how long it took me to do this, just bask in the glory of the – as director Don Dohler so eloquently put it – “blood, boobs & beasts” of days gone by. Enjoy!
WARNING: The Horror Section accepts no responsibility for any bleeding of the eyes that may occur from watching this video. View at your own risk!
The video for the title track on David Lynch's album Crazy Clown Time released today. After having listened to it incessantly over the last few months - seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if that number is in the triple digits now - I can honestly say this video plays out just like I pictured it. Lynch's NSFW backyard shenanigans are below.
Hey everyone, sorry for the lack of posts this week. I've got a few large projects on the go right now, so you can expect the beginning of April to be a little light, as well. However, I do have some little nuggets of news for you today.
Small Town Wonders.
I've been watching a lot of this web series called Beckinfield lately. It is about the strange happenings in this Midwestern town called Beckinfield, and is told by the townspeople by way of their web cams. The hook is what is called "Mass Participation TV", in that anyone can create a character and submit videos, and the best ones make it onto the show.
Obviously some performers are better than others, but I have to say it is strangely addictive. I've quite taken to hearing about their experiences with alien visitations, library apparitions and lake monsters while eating my Shreddies in the morning. Since it has been going for over a year now, the amount of video is overwhelming, but there are these three-minute recap shows that I find endlessly consumable. To visit Beckinfield, click here.
I just saw a cool new story on Twitch. There is a first-person-shooter based on the [REC] franchise, coming out for mobile devices.
Sure, it looks pretty rough, but I can think of no better way to kill a few minutes while standing in the check-out line. Click here to check out the website.
Speaking of zombie gaming, I just discovered this company in the UK called Zed Events, that specializes in real zombie apocalypse scenarios. For about two hundred bucks, you can take part in a four-hour experience that involves weapons training, movie-quality special effects and hordes of the undead. Whether you make it through alive is up to you.
There are currently two events running twice daily. The Manor in Manchester & Liverpool and The Mall in Reading. I can't tell you how much I would love to do this. Someone needs to make a Canadian chapter of this right now! To visit the Zed Events website, click here.